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Frenchman deemed too fat to fly finally gets plane ticket


A Frenchman deemed too fat too fly has finally secured a plane ticket back to Europe after an alternate plan to return by ship fell through, his father said Monday.

Kevin Chenais -- who has a hormone imbalance and came to the United States for treatment -- is due to take an evening Virgin flight from New York to London with his parents, Rene Chenais told AFP.

However Rene Chenais said he was not sure how the family would proceed after they arrived in London.

It's the latest development in a saga that began last month when British Airways determined the 22-year-old, who weighs 230 kilograms, was too heavy to have on board.

The family subsequently spent a week in a Chicago airport hotel trying to resolve the matter and, running out of money, decided their only option was to take a train to New York and cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary cruise ship.

But the Queen Mary "also didn't want to board Kevin, citing health security reasons," the elder Chenais said in a telephone interview on the way to the airport from a Brooklyn hotel.

British Airways told AFP that its customer service team "worked diligently to find a solution."

However, according to a spokeswoman, it was "not possible to safely accommodate the customer on any of our aircraft."

Chenais -- who requires round-the-clock oxygen and medical attention -- came to the United States from France in May 2012 for treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

His health problems, which have prevented him from living a normal life, began when he was just six months old, according to the father.

Despite all the "setbacks," Chenais said his son -- who had looked forward to taking the Queen Mary -- was "a little sad" to be leaving the United States.

© (c) 2013 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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the punch line of this story focuses on "too fat to fly", probably for selling purposes, when it is clear that "round-the-clock oxygen and medical attention" was the reason that both the airline and the cruise company didn't want to take risks.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What I find sad is that an advanced nation like France can't provide adequate care for her own citizen, necessitating a trip half-way round the world. If he were from some impoverished part of the third world then I'd understand it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Lucabrasi, the French healthcare system is what the US healthcare system is being transformed into.

" The French health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "close to best overall health care" in the world." according to wikiwiki.

But medical tourism has many destinations. Many Canadians also go to US for medical treatment.

The central issue with this young man's transportation is the combination of all his health problems.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I want more info. Hormones do not magically create calories. That is a scientific known. Calories come from products that people think are food, or from healthy food and drink.

Hormones and medications do not have any calories in them. Calorie intake must be adjusted if a medicine is slowing down ones' metabolism.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He either had to fly or take a ship to get to no one can take him back? Unless the Starship Enterprise beamed him to America, I'm going to have to claim "shenanigans" on this one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

C130 airlift.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


He gained a lot of the weight after coming to the US and receiving treatment.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

an advanced nation like France can't provide adequate care for her own citizen, necessitating a trip half-way round the world

He was not denied treatment in France, but he has a so rare condition that nobody can help him. Mayo Clinic invited him because they are the research center the most specialized worldwide. A while ago, they had for a year, the British teen that was the bigger girl in the world.

He gained a lot of the weight after coming to the US

In the interview I saw, his mother says he didn't and he was roughly in the same condition when he made the trip the other way, with his parents assisting for oxygen, just the same. So they were surprised the same British Airways, that knew his situation, bounced them at the last minute.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

UPS would be happy to fly him back at standard overnight s h i p p i n g rates for oversized packages. (HAHA! JT still hasn't figured out that the word isn't "potentially offensive"!)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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